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Thoughts on Fruit Trees


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Transferring some thoughts regarding fruit trees from discord to forums for long-term storage.  It sounds like the plan is for fruit trees to grow in many stages, similar to TFC fruit trees.  As opposed to going straight from sapling to finished mature form.  TFC handled this by having a final form that was exactly the same for all fruit trees, and grew in precisely the same way.  Some thoughts:

- I think it would be nice if VS could do it in such a way that the trees do not necessarily end up identical.  I don't think it's necessary to make fruit trees have spindly trunks like TFC.  Maybe an intermediate form does, but then they end up with normal full-trunk blocks?  But spindly would also be fine, as they tend to be relatively spindly irl.

- The trees may have a large number of leaf blocks, but limited yield.   For instance, they might have a base yield of 10 blocks (at maturity) regardless of the number of leaf blocks they have.  This could be modified by various environmental and player-influenced factors.

- A beehive within X distance might influence yield.  Perhaps even as many as 4 hives.  This could be a major factor.

- The surrounding soil profile could influence yield (and growth time).   The searched area would vary based on the tree's growth stage.   A sapling might search just the one under it, plus four adjacent, next stage includes the 4 corners, etc, up to an area about matching the max canopy coverage.  Low fertility would be base case with 0 modifier.  Non-soil such as sand, stone, or gravel would apply a penalty.  Medium and High Provide a bonus.   Ideally it would have a weighted calculation to account for mixtures (some low, some medium, some high, for instance). 

- Player fertilization could influence yield and growth time.  Ideally this would be soil block based, so the player would fertilize the soil blocks under the tree.  If that's not feasible in terms of mechanics, then perhaps a layer of fertilizer particles would be applied on top of the soil, kind of like snow but not a solid layer.  Or if all else fails just fertilize the trunk of the tree.  But the quantity required should go up with the size of the tree.

- Climate match could influence a lot of things.  Apples and plums might require a somewhat cool climate, bananas tropical, etc.  If they're in the wrong climatic conditions, this penalizes fruit yield.  Irl this can have severe influences on yield.  A late frost for instance can freeze and destroy all the blossoms, meaning a 0% fruit yield that year.  Some varieties of fruit trees such as apple, cherry, and others, REQUIRE a cold dormancy to regulate their lifecycle, and if grown in a climate too warm can die, or never yield fruit.  This could also cause tree diseases if that were a thing.

- It could be than any given leaf block must have either the top face exposed to the sky, or at least 2 of any sides be exposed, in order to yield fruit.  If the tree is large, this would cause inner leaf blocks to not have fruit.  Irl, it is an actual practice to prune some fruit trees in a vase-like shape, hollow in the middle, to maximize sun exposure, because their fruit requires sun exposure to ripen.  You could also espalier the tree, for the same effect, if the tree generation would allow it.

- This is getting pretty deep mechanics-wise, but genetics could be an  influence on many factors, including base yield.  It could influence tree size (again, very large trees are harder to harvest).  It could influence bloom times (later blooming = less chance of frost killing blooms).  It could influence the allowed climate range (tolerate lower rainfall, lower/higher temperature, etc).  You could even have some trees that tend toward overbearing, which is where they will have a huge harvest one year, and then little to no harvest the next.  This would basically mean a cyclical base yield (0-5 one year, 15-30 the next, for instance).  All this would of course mean that saplings would have to be non-stackable.  You could even, in the most tree-nerd scenario, allow grafting, where the player could combine root-based characteristics (cold & drought tolerance, size) with top-based characteristics (everything else).  This would require high agriculture skill.  It would also require fruit tree saplings to not stack, so that they can store their individual genetic info.

So ya, there's some thoughts on fruit trees.



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